Film, Reviews

3,117 articles

Sorted by popularity / date

The Falling

14 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Maisie Williams shines in this eerie drama from British director Carol Morley

Carol Morley is best known for her documentaries Dreams of a Life and The Alcohol Years; her second narrative feature (after Edge) is a dark, twisted and thoughtful coming-of-ager set at a British girls' school in the late 60s. It's partly inspired by a…

Wild

14 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Reese Witherspoon returns to form in adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's memoir

Having steered both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscar glory with Dallas Buyers Club, director Jean-Marc Vallée could well be on course to repeat the trick for producer-star Reese Witherspoon with his new film Wild, adapted from the…

Northern Soul

13 Oct 20143 stars

Elaine Constantine's directorial debut takes a look at the titular youth scene

For the uninitiated, northern soul was a youth movement that gripped the North of England during the 60s and 70s, fuelled by high octane funk and soul records from the States. DJs were on a permanent quest for ever more elusive tracks, unearthing gems…

Björk: Biophilia Live

13 Oct 20144 stars

A beautiful presentation of Björk's strange, beguiling vision from cinematographer Brett Turnbull

In 2008 Björk embarked upon her eighth album, Biophilia, which over the course of a few years turned into a massively ambitious multimedia project, including an otherworldly live show. The final concert took place in September 2013 after a 70-date world…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

13 Oct 20143 stars

Fun, cheesy reboot of the action franchise starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett

The director's credit may read Jonathan Liebesman, but there's no mistaking the influence of producer Michael Bay on this reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise, which began life in 1984 as a humble self-published comic book by Peter Laird…

back to top

Winter Sleep

10 Oct 20145 stars

London Film Festival: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Palme d'Or winning drama is epic story of family in crisis

This masterful, achingly sad story of marital decay and societal rifts is the latest from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan and the winner of this year's Palme d'Or. It finds a tightly wound, quietly angry family gradually unravelling in their mountain…

Wild Tales

9 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: A hugely entertaining anthology film from director Damián Szifrón

Announcing its disregard for subtlety, sense, lawfulness and decency from the off, this Argentinean anthology film lays out a feast of unhinged antics, introducing us to a collection of diverse characters just as they reach their tipping…

The Duke of Burgundy

8 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Peter Strickland takes a typically idiosyncratic look at tortured love affair

'You can pin and mount me like a butterfly,' sang Morrissey in The Smiths' 'Reel Around the Fountain'. It's a line that seems tailor-made for Peter Strickland's latest, a pleasingly original yet playfully retro romance set in an undisclosed European…

The Rewrite

7 Oct 20143 stars

Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei star in Marc Lawrence's likeable if imperfect comedy

This engaging comedy marks the fourth collaboration between actor Hugh Grant and writer-director Marc Lawrence, following Two Weeks Notice, Did You Hear About The Morgans? and Music and Lyrics. The result is pretty much exactly what you're expecting…

Effie Gray

7 Oct 20143 stars

Victorian biopic featuring Dakota Fanning alongside screenwriter Emma Thompson

Delayed by two years due to legal wranglings surrounding Emma Thompson's screenplay, director Richard Laxton's period piece focuses on the early life of Euphemia 'Effie' Gray (Dakota Fanning), a young Scottish woman who marries older art critic John…

back to top

Annabelle

6 Oct 20143 stars

Hastily produced, sporadically scary spinoff of The Conjuring focussing on the film's devil doll

James Wan's name is synonymous with modern horror. He’s the man who directed Saw, Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2 and here he acts as producer on this spinoff of his other smash, 2013's The Conjuring, passing directorial duties to his cinematographer…

The Calling

6 Oct 20142 stars

Disappointing crime thriller starring Susan Sarandon and Topher Grace

If evidence were needed that there are increasingly limited roles for older women in Hollywood, then The Calling offers itself up as a perfect example of a miserable fact. For here we see powerhouse performer Susan Sarandon reduced to a badly drawn…

Gone Too Far!

6 Oct 20144 stars

Bola Agbaje's adaptation of her own play is a fresh, funny look at race relations and youth culture

On an estate in South-East London teenager Yemi (Malachi Kirby) awaits the arrival of his prodigal older brother Iku (OC Ukeje) from their native Nigeria. When Iku turns up, however, Yemi is embarrassed by his sibling's loud, proud African personality…

The Maze Runner

6 Oct 20143 stars

James Dashner's YA novel is the basis for a dystopian adventure starring Dylan O'Brien

Ever since Suzanne Collins’ young adult novel The Hunger Games was transformed into a box-office smash starring Jennifer Lawrence, there’s been a trend for adapting teen dystopian fiction in Hollywood. Shailene Woodley appeared in the adaptation of…

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

6 Oct 20144 stars

Fun family comedy adapted from the kids' book featuring Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell

Ever had one of those days where nothing goes right? 11-year-old Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) seems to have more than his fair share. And when his latest day from hell is largely ignored by his family, Alexander makes a midnight birthday wish for the…

back to top

’71

6 Oct 20144 stars

Jack O'Connell impresses yet again in a tense thriller set at the height of the Troubles

There seems to be no stopping Jack O’Connell right now. The former Skins star is having a stellar year, with a searing performance in prison drama Starred Up behind him and, ahead, a high-profile lead role in the Angelina Jolie directed Unbroken. His…

Dracula Untold

30 Sep 20142 stars

Luke Evans and Charles Dance impress in an otherwise mishandled origin story

An early title for this latest spin on Bram Stoker’s fanged fiend was ‘Dracula: Year Zero’, which gives some indication of where the writers gleaned inspiration for this origin story: Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel 'Batman: Year One'. Dracula…

Gone Girl

29 Sep 20144 stars

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's sharp take on Gillian Flynn's bestseller

David Fincher: an excellent choice to direct Gillian Flynn’s whiplashing tale of deceptions. He steers this adaptation with cool, detached technical proficiency and a sense of brutally malicious fun, making Gone Girl as entertainingly gripping as it is…

You and the Night

29 Sep 20143 stars

Eric Cantona and Béatrice Dalle star in an oddly lovable orgy dramedy

Looking for the orgy? You’ll find it up Fassbinder Street, left at Almodóvar Corner, on the corner of Pierre et Gilles. Be sure to wear your eye-patch or maid’s uniform, and to bring a poignant story detailing what made you so depraved… Set among the…

Draft Day

29 Sep 20142 stars

Disappointing sports movie from Ivan Reitman featuring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner

The UK release of Ivan Reitman's latest follows on quickly from the NFL getting its first openly gay player, while the spotlight has recently been thrown on the off-field bad behaviour of some of its other members; Draft Day is a behind-the-scenes look…

back to top

Soul Boys of the Western World

29 Sep 20143 stars

Documentary charting the fluctuating fortunes of Spandau Ballet from George Hencken

Spandau Ballet might not seem the hippest subjects for a documentary. Formed in the late Seventies, they hit the charts in the early Eighties as the New Romantic scene blossomed, but this five-piece all-male band from Islington were hardly musical…

Violette

29 Sep 20144 stars

Martin Provost's sophisticated biopic stars Emmanuelle Devos as Violette Leduc

This elegant but deeply felt biopic charts the messy rise to counter-culture fame of French post-war novelist Violette Leduc, played by the always compelling Emmanuelle Devos. Whilst emerging from a wartime career as a black marketeer into writing…

Still the Enemy Within

29 Sep 20144 stars

Documentary on the miners' strike from Owen Gower illuminates a passionately fought conflict

An interesting companion piece to the acclaimed comedy Pride, providing pertinent social history in the context of current debates about privilege, representation and poverty in modern Britain, Still the Enemy Within is a thorough account of the 1984-5…

Dolphin Tale 2

29 Sep 20142 stars

Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman feature in a bland, aquarium-set sequel

The seam of true-life marine stories mined in 2011's anodyne Dolphin Tale is further depleted by this return visit to the underwater denizens of Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida. The bright-looking yet colourless live-action narrative and…

Rachel Maclean – The Weepers

24 Sep 20144 stars

Superb darkly comic retelling of Celtic Bean Nighe myth from Glasgow film-maker

The Scotch mist that wafts around Duart Castle at the opening of Rachel Maclean's new film speaks volumes about where she's coming from; this major commission for the Mull-based Comar organisation looks like a big leap towards something even more…